Critical Haiti gas terminal freed after weeks of talks with G9 gang leader
For the last two weeks, thousands of protestors have occupied the Pétionville gas terminal, demanding that the government negotiate with three leaders of the Gédéon gang, who allegedly control the facility.
The demonstrators, some of whom, according to witnesses, had previously been imprisoned by the gang, said they would surrender the building only if they are given safe passage to the United States and Haiti—the only two nations that have granted asylum to the three leaders (the other two leaders in question are not associated with the gang).
“The situation has not yet reached the point of no return,” said Pétionville Mayor Henri Falque, who also said that a delegation of the gang left this morning to negotiate with the protesters.
“The Gédéon gang has been here for a long time,” he said. “These people have been given asylum in the U.S. and Haiti. Why is it now that they have to return?”
But, according to press reports, the gang was not interested in negotiating. They held an initial meeting here morning, and then drove to a nearby gas station and, according to a local security source, were taken out of town early afternoon.
The protestors blocked the access road to the gas terminal late yesterday afternoon, but have been allowed to leave the site. According to press reports, the protestors are planning another protest tomorrow at the site.
“We hope to get back to the site to continue the occupation tomorrow as planned. We are still here and we don’t have any plan to leave,” said a local reporter in contact with the protesters.
Pétionville Mayor Falque, who is supporting the protestors, said he was sure that the gang would soon agree to surrender the gas plant for the protests to end.
When asked about the Gédéon gang’s desire to return to Port-au-Prince, Falque said he assumed that they would likely be back at the airport as soon as possible